10 Reasons to Exercise in Water

Tuesday, February 05 2019


The Baby Boomers are aging and aquatic exercise will be the hottest fitness trend over the next 20 years as Boomers search out challenging, yet low impact workouts. Water provides resistance that works muscles with every movement, while pumping up the heart rate and burning calories. The buoyant atmosphere of the pool limits impact on joints and allows for the opportunity to engage in a much more vigorous exercise experience without experiencing pain.

The Aging Population and the Aging Body (Statistics by U.S. Census & AARP)

—  77 million people were born between 1946 and 1964, which is defined as the Baby Boomer era

—  The first Baby Boomer turned 65 on January 1, 2011

—  By 2030, the 65-plus population will double to about 71.5 million, and by 2050 will grow to 86.7 million people

—  An American turns 50 every 7 seconds—that's more than 12,500 people every day

—   By 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45% of the U.S. population 

Channel your Inner Athlete

·      Aquatic fitness has changed tremendously in the last 15 years. More aggressive and athletic water exercise options are now available

·      Increase exercise results with water specific movements.  These are exercise movements you could do in the water but could not do on land

·      Intense workouts such as HIIT, Tabata, Boot Camp, Cycling and more are now popular in the water.


#1       Buoyancy – Reduced Impact

·      Buoyancy is an upward force that reduces the effects of gravity and lessens joint impact

·      A body immersed to chest level bears around 25-35% of body weight

·      A body immersed to neck level bears around 10% of body weight

·      A body immersed to waist level bears around 50% of body weight

 #2      Zero Gravity - Zero Impact

·      Deep water fitness is more challenging because you expend more energy staying afloat & vertical

·      A zero gravity workout offers unique exercise opportunities

·      Decompression of the spine occurs in deep water, effectively helpin to reduce back pain for some people. 

#3       Water Immersion – Improved Circulation

·      Hydrostatic pressure – fluid pressure exerted equally on all surface areas of a body at rest in any given depth

·      Hydrostatic pressure also puts pressure on rib cage; simply breathing immersed in water can improve respiratory function

·      Immersion helps improve heart function - allowing for exercise at a reduced heart rate.  It also helps improve blood flow return to the heart.   Aquatic exercise is often recommended for people with circulatory issues

·      This pressure helps circulate blood from the legs to the heart, reducing feet and ankle swelling.  A decrease in swelling may decrease joint tenderness and increase range of motion 

·      Decrease in swelling helps to improve arthritic conditions

#4       Exercise in Water - Sleep Better

·      Improvements in circulatory and respiratory function, as described above, can translate into a more restful slumber

·      Water temperature is much cooler than body temperature.  Because of this, heat dissipation through conduction and convection is facilitated, lowering body core temperature

·      Exercising in the water fatigues muscles and fatigued muscles require rest

·      Exercise reduces stress

#5       Resisted Movement – Muscular Balance

·      Viscosity – the friction of molecules makes water more viscous or “thicker” than air

·      Water is 784 times more dense than air and provides 12 times more resistance than air

·      Submerged movement is resisted in all directions - working muscles in pairs.

·      Muscular imbalances are one of the biggest reasons joints, such as the shoulder or the hip or the knee become compromised.

·      Exercising in water helps improve joint integrity because you work muscles all around the joint in submerged resistance

#6       Weight loss – Safe Exercise

·      Research studies have shown that caloric expenditure in water is similar to land

·      9.8 calories are burned per minute

·      A typical 35-minute cardio session would burn 343 calories

·      A 60-minute class would typically burn 400-500 calories

·      Obese participants can exercise more safely in water due to buoyancy

#7       Enhanced Results – Functional Fitness

·      Endurance:  Reduced impact encourages harder & longer exercise activity

·      Balance:  Water’s viscosity provides support – enabling increased confidence and range of motion in movements

·      Mobility:  Exercising with bigger movements improves muscular strength

·      Your body doesn’t have an expiration date

#8       More From Core – Spinal Health

·      Aquatic Environment allows for vertical core training

·      Properties of water & equipment allow for changes in body position

·      Vertical alignment with flotation belt allows for maximal core recruitment

·      Safer environment to exercise in with an existing back injury due to buoyancy and reduced impact

#9       Cross Training – Exercise Variability

·      Change activities frequently

·      Cross train and do water exercise a couple of days a week 

·      Run harder and jump higher

·      Use all out force against the water’s resistance  

·      Try different activities and classes – HIIT, kickboxing or Pilates, yoga

#10     Feels Good – Exercise Adherence

·      All life begins in water

·      Enjoying exercise increases adherence

·      Aquatic fitness is a sport

·      Discover your inner athlete

PoolFit is your water exercise solution!  
The internets only site that features streaming follow-along pool workouts, PoolFit features video workouts for pools with Wi-Fi and audio workouts for pools without Wi-Fi.  PoolFit workouts are led by top training specialists who certify and educate instructors around the globe.  PoolFit also features a Marketplace where you can stcok up on equipment and accesories that will transform your pool into a liquid gym. 

Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.